How Does Jason Witten Feel About Signing Greg Hardy?
By Phil Cross
How does the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year Jason Witten feel about his Dallas Cowboys controversial signing of defensive end Greg Hardy?
Witten, the ten time Pro Bowl tight end and future NFL Hall of Famer, is about to begin the pursuit of the elusive Lombardi trophy for the 13th time. He watched in horror a few months ago as Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers camped out in his comfortable passing pocket and shredded the Cowboys secondary to end last season’s surprising campaign.
Surely, the 6-time All Pro would welcome a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball that could single-handedly put fear in the minds of opposing QBs. Knowing the lack of any substantial quarterback pressure proved to be the Achilles heel for the 2014 Cowboys, even the saintly Witten would justify lowering Jason Garrett‘s “Right Kind of Guy” standards if a Super Bowl ring lies in the balance.
Or would he?
While gathering information for this article I fell back on my Journalism 101 training and busted out my Google machine.
Try this out. Enter “Jason Witten Domestic Violence” in the Google search bar. (Take your time, I’ll spell check this post while I’m waiting, oops – I mean waiting.)
Phew, your back. Man, that took a little longer than I expected. Let me guess, you got sucked in by the very first hit “Cowboys star Jason Witten shares childhood trauma in E:60 profile“. Dang, that was some tough stuff to watch wasn’t it?
(If you haven’t seen the full version of the story you can check it out here: E:60 Jason Witten )
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In the video, you can hear the hurt lingering still today in Witten’s voice as he talks about the abuse his father inflicted upon his family. One of the toughest players in the NFL struggles with the aftermath of domestic violence on a daily basis.
Now find your way back to Google. This time enter “Greg Hardy Domestic Violence“. I’m not going to wait around this time. You know the story. You have seen the public outcry. (I must admit, living in New York, I did not know that Mike Rawlings was the mayor of Dallas until he felt the need to chime in on the topic.)
After those two exhaustive Google searches, I just have to wonder, how does the man that founded the SCOREkeepers program, a unique initiative placing full-time, trained male mentors in battered women’s shelters throughout Texas, deal with a man entering his locker room that has, allegedly, assaulted a women?
I would love to be a fly on the wall when Hardy and Witten greet each other for the first time at Valley Ranch, if they haven’t already.
Perhaps Witten has taken some advice from his father figure growing up and the man that was also his high school football coach, his grandfather, Dave Rider. In the E:60 video when discussing whether he and his grandson talked about Jason’s abusive Dad, Rider simply said: “We didn’t talk about it much, it wasn’t any of my business – You don’t worry about the past… you worry about the future”.
You don’t worry about the past… you worry about the future. — Dave Rider
Maybe Witten has decided to just worry about the future for Hardy and not his dark past. Is it possible that one of the leaders of the Cowboys hopes that he can, in some way, help guide the troubled sack specialist down the right path?
One positive aspect of the Hardy signing is that the national spotlight on domestic violence has increased the awareness of Witten’s foundation that helps combat the issue.
Next: Dallas Cowboys Must Make Re-Signing Rolando McClain Top Priority